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  -Part 16 :: [09.27.03]
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  -Part 19 :: [12.20.03]
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"Auron comments that a lot of summoners get lost at this point, as they are oblivious to the giant blinking arrow and map screen. Also, as we find out later, there's pretty much only one path out of the plains. These must be the dumbest summoners ever."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 17

Link to VGR!

Final Fantasy X : Part 19
By Jeanne
Posted 12.20.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
After fighting Seymour for the bazillionth time in Part 18, we were rewarded with the revelation that Tightass doesn't actually exist at all, but is the nightmare of a rather large group of fayth. Since he doesn't exist, it makes me wonder why in the hell I have to deal with him, but as this makes his eventual disappearance more likely, I'll let it slide for now.

So now everyone is in the Mt. Gagazet caves. Mt. Gagazet is a really, really big mountain. As if there is any other kind. This means that I have a lot of running and battling to do before reaching the cave exit. I can see you are all on the edge of your seats waiting to read about this.

After twenty-some hours of running from point A to point B, the game designers finally decided to throw some "puzzles" into their non-cloister-of-trials dungeons. There are some blocked-off pathways in the cave that only open up after I solve two puzzles. This sounds simple enough. However, it's up to Tightass, Wakka, and Rikku to swim through the waterways and take care of the puzzles. I'm totally screwed.

On the way to the first waterway, Wakka gets the munchies and wonders "how many steaks" he can make from a behemoth. I'd pay money to see Wakka say, "I wonder if I can smoke this?" while fighting an Ochu.

Once the party reaches the pond, Lulu makes an extreme statement of the obvious, telling the three swimmers that they're responsible for the water stuff. Of course, I quickly realize who she's dealing with and cut her some slack. Yuna takes her time saying farewell to Tightass, like he's going to be gone for weeks rather than minutes.

Generally a good rule of thumb during sex.

The perfectly clear cave pool is lit by glowy rocks and filled with really annoying fish. Luckily, whenever I use Tightass's Flee command, I don't have to hear him saying one of his "clever" phrases, since he's underwater. I have to be thankful for the small things.

After the three of them emerge from the water, they find themselves at "The First Trial of Gagazet." It's a glowing orb suspended in the center of two spinning barriers. Wakka has to throw his blitzball, timing it so that the ball goes in the space between the barriers and hits the orb. How convenient for Yuna that she not only brought along a blitzball-wielding guardian, but he's also one of the few people who could even make it to the trial. I'd hate to see Lulu chucking her poor stuffed animals at the thing. Let's not even get into Auron's sword.

It only takes Wakka a few clumsy tries to hit the glowy orb. This nets the group a completely useless Lv. 1 Key Sphere and opens up the pathway to the next trial. Run, run, run, swim, swim, swim, battle, battle, battle, and I'm there. Once again, it's up to our tedious trio to complete the trial. Hey, I can make statements of the obvious, too!

This time, there are three underwater holes of different sizes, each one with a different colored light inside. I'm supposed to pick which person swims into which hole. Not only are the holes sized for each individual, but the color of the light matches the color of each person's sphere grid indicator. I have to take a break, since my brain hurts after solving that difficult brain-teaser.

Again, another new pathway opens up. This one actually leads out of the cave. I get my ass out of there, skipping all the other treasure chests in the cave, because I don't really feel like fucking around in there anymore. On the way out, Auron lags behind the group in order to talk with Yuna. He cryptically warns her that "they" will attack soon. "She has sent fiends to test our summoner's strength," he clarifies slightly. Yuna is confused as to who he means, but come on. How many well-known females have we heard of thus far? That's right, it's Yunalesca. Yuna is all surprised and stuff. "In Zanarkand, she awaits the arrival of the strongest." Well gosh, if he was going to ruin the surprise of discovering Yunalesca in Zanarkand, then why the hell didn't he say something earlier? Oh, right, the game designers didn't want to reveal that plot twist too early. Yuna asks if Yunalesca is still alive. "As much as Mika and Seymour and me......oh crap. I didn't just say that," Auron responds. Then he randomly asks if she's "lost [her] nerve." Well, of course not. She's Yuna the Brave and Strong and Stupendous! "Nothing frightens me now," she Mary Sues. The two of them have a non-romantic Moment, as Auron joins the Yuna Brown-Nosing Squad and tells her that his old fuckbuddy her dad would be so proud of her. "Then...I must not let him down," Yuna replies as she turns to see the rest of the party standing a short distance away, waving at her. Fucktards.

A save point at the end of the cave plus Auron's not-so-subtle foreshadowing indicate to me that there just might be an upcoming boss battle. Sure enough, as soon as the group emerges into the open, Auron looks around suspiciously. "It comes!" he randomly screams. Um...I so did not want to know that. Taking that statement in context, however, Auron apparently meant "It's standing right there." Because it is. And it's huge.

"It" is a gigantic dragon with huge fruity wings. Apparently there is no other kind of dragon in Spira. This fight is insanely easy, as once again I don't use Tightass. The sad thing is, I did all this preparation, including Protect and Reflect, when all I had to do was cast Bio and Darkness, hit it with Auron's sword, and use Bahamut's limit break. Well, I'm not complaining, as Seymour violated me quite thoroughly in the last boss battle.

The dragon dies dramatically, giving me a feeling of accomplishment that I don't especially deserve. Afterward, Rikku stops and faces the group, whining about needing to rest. Auron's all "No time to stop, beeyotch, it wasn't that tough of a battle." But Rikku's not really tired. You see -- and this is going to be such a huge shock to all of you -- she wants to stop because she's trying to put off Yuna's death as long as possible. Jeebus Cripes. I am so annoyed at this obnoxious whining repetition that I want to shoot Yuna in the head myself just to piss Rikku off. Oh, but then who would get to Mary Sue the hell out of herself in the next game? We can't miss out on that.

Yeah, I'm sure it sucks for everyone who gives a crap about Yuna that she's supposedly going to die and all, but thankfully for me, most of them keep their yaps shut about it. I can only take so much wankst and whining before I punch a hole in the TV screen or stab my eye out with a pen. Rikku gives in -- you guessed it -- whinily, and the group continues on. Speaking of wankst, however, Tightass stays behind, hanging his head so that we understand that He's Sad and Shit. Wakka tries to be all touchy-feely and compassionate, but the two of them just exchange some statements of the obvious. Auron, a few steps ahead of them, chuckles at their stupidity.

Tightass takes exception to being laughed at, which causes Auron to utter one of the most horrifying lines in Final Fantasy history: "You remind me of myself." Holy God, no. Okay, for the sake of my sanity, I'm going to assume that the aforementioned statement is followed by "That is, if I were a giant, assreeking wanker." Because otherwise, Auron has just corrupted himself beyond repair. And....I just don't think I can get through the rest of the recap if that were the case. Indulge me just this once, please.

Actually, Auron goes on to say that at this point in his own journey, he was desperately trying to find a way to save his hot hunk of summoner meat from certain death. Even though he had previously been okay with the whole thing, this exact spot was where he thought, "Hmmm....if Braska dies, I won't be able to have sex with his hot ass......that's bad!" Wakka is floored at the thought of Auron being anything like that sorry dickwad that is Tightass. "Legendary guardians choke sometimes, too, ya?" "Legendary guardian? I was just a boy," Auron scoffs. "A boy about your age, actually. I wanted to change the world, too. But I changed nothing. And then instead of spending the next ten years happily frolicking about the Farplane with my sexy man beast, I had to take care of a whining wankpile. That is my story." On that upbeat note, Auron walks away, feeling sorry for himself. Not that he's not entitled at this point. I mean, dude.

Only when putting something too far into their mouths without proper training.

The camera does a close-up on Tightass, who looks surprised, as if realizing, "Hey....there are other people besides me.....and they have feelings and stuff!" Of course, he's more likely noticing Yuna's ass way ahead on the trail. I know that my horrid sentence structure makes it sound like Yuna's ass has spontaneously detached itself and is now lying on the ground. But that would probably make Tightass stare, too, wouldn't it?

Tightass follows the group, as if he's going to do anything else. Since they're now at the summit of the mountain, the ruins of Zanarkand can clearly be seen, and boy, are they spiffy. Oh, that's because they're an FMV. In order to make this extra special cool, the game designers have thrown in a sunset, so instead of shitty gray buildings, we get to see lots of neato pink and orange.

The entire scene is spoiled by a fit of wanking. Predictably, the Wankese is all about how Tightass had to see the ruined Zanarkand to believe it, and Yuna's going to die. We are "treated" to the sight of Asian!Tightass staring at a contemplative Asian!Yuna, to underscore how Incredibly Serious this whole thing is. You see, Yuna is going to die. And that sucks. Or something. "The last chapter in my story," Tightass continues, giving the lie to my thought that this couldn't get any wankier. You'd think I would have learned by now.

Oh yeah, and what about that whole "Tightass is a dream" subplot? You'd think that since they made such a big stinking deal out of that in the last installment that there might be a mention of that. Particularly in light of the fact that Tightass is now staring the real life ruined version of his hometown right in But no, that plot point has been shoved back up the game designers' asses, presumably for later. Continuity, shmontinuity.

There's some more Intelekshooul and Poetic wank, before the Black Screen of Relief signals that it's time to unplug our ears. Unfortunately, it's a false alarm -- the Wankese has ended but the real wank has only just begun.

Okay, remember how Rikku tried to stall the whole thing and take her stand about two minutes ago? Well, the game designers think that we were doing something fun instead of listening to that crap. So lucky us, we get the following scene.

"Yuna, I say no!" Rikku says out of the blue. "If we go down there, then you'll..." DIE! She'll freaking DIE! And Rikku doesn't want her to! WE GET IT ALREADY! Everyone else is completely sick of this shit, too. Even Wakka is rolling his eyes in aggravation. Yuna says something inane and touchy-feely to Rikku, but I'm suddenly completely distracted by the amount of eyeliner that Yuna's wearing. I don't know why I never noticed it before, but she looks like a more masculine version of Squall. Now I know why she tries so hard not to cry all the time -- cleaning that shit up would be a nightmare.

A graduate from the Squally School of Eye Makeup Application.

This entire prolonged scene reiterates two points with which we are very, very, very, dear God, very familiar: Rikku wants to save Yuna, and Yuna must go ahead with the Final Summoning, because it's her decision and her destiny. Only picture those two subjects being discussed with two heaping tablespoons of Angsty Whining and a dash of Steadfast Determination, not to mention a few pinches of Melodramatic Camera Angles. Mix that on high with one Irritated Recapper and some alcohol, and you've got this obnoxious scene. Now, I realize that the game designers needed to pad this sucker to their usual 50+ hours, but couldn't they have thrown in a Squall/Seifer sex scene? Yes, I realize that this is two games too late, but several thousand VGRites (numbers exaggerated just a little) can't be wrong.

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